Managing Your Stress While Traveling

I have been traveling a lot this year and now that the holidays are here my traveling is increasing even more. While it’s fun to go somewhere new, catch up with family and friend and experience a different setting it can also be extremely stressful at times.

Traveling is supposed to be relaxing, but I find that traveling during the holiday season and the cold and flu season is anything but that.

Life is inevitable and we really never know what is going to happen. This is why a little preparation and planning can keep you from feeling overwhelmed – or (gasp!) getting HANGRY!

Here are some stress management ideas for to keep your cool and not lose your mind when traveling hassles arise.

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You want to make sure that you have enough, but not too much, without forgetting anything.

Stress Management Approach:

Check the weather and make a list! I can’t stress this enough. Have you forgotten certain items in the past? Learn from your errors. Brainstorm with your travel partner or just with yourself and make a list a couple days ahead of time. Assess everything that you REALLY need and make sure to include that in your luggage. Toss what you don’t need.


Delayed Flights or Layovers

Rush, rush, rush to the airport…. only to find out that your flight has been delayed or cancelled. What a huge pain!

Stress Management Approach:

Before you leave home make sure you get your airline’s reservation phone number programed in your phone and make sure to sign up for alerts. Cell phones are very handy these days and most airlines will notify you via a text message or email if there are any changes in your flight reservation. If your flight is delayed or cancelled everyone is going to head up to the reservation counter and talk to that one person trying to make amends. Get out of line and call the flight’s reservation help line directly. This is less stressful and you won’t have to listen to cranky people in line.


Long Wait Times

Nothing can be more tedious or create an impatient monster than having to wait in line for a very long time. This doesn’t only apply to airports, but also standing in line at the grocery store, restaurants, bars, entertainment shows…etc.

Stress Management Approach:

Take a breath and calm down! You should be prepared to wait wherever you go. Bring reading materials with you or an iPad or a DVD on your computer. Bring anything that will keep you entertained.


Rude People

One of my pet peeves! Seriously, why is there so much anger in the world. Traveling creates stress for everyone: you, other travelers, and airport and airline employees. All it takes is one rude person to set the stage for everyone to be irritable.

Stress Management Approach:

Treat others the way that you would want to be treated. Be pleasant and polite and never take out your frustrations on the airline staff. It’s not their fault and there is nothing they can do about a delayed or cancelled flight. Be nice and smile – a smile can go a long way.

Side note: if you’re turning into one of those rude people – smack yourself in the face and use simple meditation. Repeat calming phrases to yourself, like “Relax,” “It’s okay,” or “Don’t worry about it.”


Kids and Adults Coughing and Sneezing ALLLLL Around You

Yuck! How rude!!! Unfortunately, this is all around us. Especially during the cold and flu season between September and March (peak season).

Stress Management Approach:

Germs and bad hygiene habits are circulating everywhere. You need to protect your self by getting plenty of sleep before and after your travel, stay hydrated and keep clean. Wash your hands after using the restroom — this may seem obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people admit to not washing their hands after using the restroom. GAG!

Do your best to clean your environment. Always wash your hands and use antibacterial wipes or essential oil hand sanitizer after touching any surfaces on an airplane.  While traveling, be wary of food preparation conditions to ensure they are safe.


Your Meal Times Are Off and You Are HANGRY!

Oh no! Alert the guards! Being on vacation often means your eating schedule can be off track, which can cause you to forget to eat or not have food available to you when you are hungry.

Stress Management Approach:

You must be prepared with food at all times. I’m serious! It will prevent low blood sugar which can literally save your life. Easy snacks to pack and stash in your purse or pocket are the following: fruit, nuts and seeds (preportioned to 1/4 cup), Justin’s individual peanut butter packs, carb-controlled granola bars (such as Go Macro protein bars), baby carrots and snap peas, avocado and whole grain crackers.

You should also check out these reusable food storage bags that are perfect for traveling, camping or on-the-go occasions.


Remember that if all else fails, sometimes you just have to accept it. Sometimes you just can’t do anything about your circumstances. Don’t try and fight something that you can’t change. Take three deep breaths and remind yourself that the situation is out of your control and you just have to learn how to go with the flow. In the end, things usually work out the way they were meant to.

Do you have any stress management strategies that you use when traveling? Comment below and let me know – I would love to hear some feedback.

Author: Katie

Hi! I'm Katie, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. This website it dedicated to those looking to heal their bodies from the inside out - and it all starts with balancing out your blood sugar. Let's heal disease together one plate at a time.

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